Shravan

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Shravan
Dashrath Raja and Shravan.jpg
Dashrath Raja and Shravan
In-universe information
FamilySantanu (father)
Gyanvanti (mother)

Shravan Kumar (Sanskrit: श्रवण कुमार), mentioned in the ancient Hindu text Ramayana, known for his filial piety towards his parents, was killed accidentally by King Dasharatha.[1]

Filial piety[edit]

Shravan Kumar's parents, Shantanu and Gyanvanti (Malaya), were hermits. When they became aged, Shravan wanted him to take them to the four most sacred places of Hindu pilgrimage to purify the soul. Since Shravan Kumar could not afford the transport, he decided to put each parent in a basket and tie each to an end of a bamboo pole, which he would shoulder while on their pilgrimage.[1]

According to Punjabi folklore Shravan's mother was distantly related to King Dhashrath as his sister.

Death[edit]

Dasharatha cremates Shravana and his Parents, painting by Laharu of Chamba.

According to Ramayana, while hunting in the forest of Ayodhya, then-Prince Dashratha heard a sound near a lake and unleashed an arrow, hoping to hit an animal. When he crossed the lake to collect his kill, he found that his arrow had fatally struck a teenage boy who was bleeding. The injured boy was Shravan, who then told Dasaratha he had come to the lake to collect water for his sick and aged parents, who were both blind and whom he had been carrying on a sling. With his dying breath, Shravan requested Dashratha to take water to his parents and to tell them what happened. Shravan then succumbed to his wounds and when Dasaratha took water for his parents and told them of his tragic mistake, they were unable to bear the shock. Despite acknowledging that it was an accident, they cursed Dasaratha that he too would experience "Putrashoka" (Sanskrit, "putra" is child/son and "shoka" is grief; grief due to loss of a son).[2]

The blind hermit and his wife mourn their son, who was slain accidentally by Dasaratha.

This curse turned out to be true when king Dashratha had to suffer the exile of his most beloved and able son Rama who had to be exiled at his own orders (it was actually his beloved wife's wish that could not be ignored since he had himself promised her a boon years back when she had saved his life). So he did it unwillingly.[1]

Legacy[edit]

Local tradition holds that the place where Shravan died was named "Sarvan" in Unnao district of Uttar Pradesh in India, and the spot where Dashratha shot his arrow came to be known as "Sarwara" and the place where Shravan's parents died is called "Samadha". An old and dilapidated memorial for Shravan on the banks of the lake is now withering away.[2]

Some people believe that Sravan kumar was killed in Nepal now lies at Syangja district near Syangja. There is a "Sarvan kund" from which a river locally known as Adhikhola originates. People around the Syangja and Walling believe that Adhikhola river is a tear of Sarvan parents.[2]

Shrine[edit]

Mukhed in Nanded district of Maharashtra has a samadhi (shrine) dedicated to Shravana.[3]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Bhalla, Prem P. (2009). The Story Of Sri Ram. p. 89. ISBN 9788124801918.
  2. ^ a b c An unfinished ancient tale. IndiaToday.in. 2008-05-23. Retrieved 2012-09-14.
  3. ^ "Historical significance of Mukhed". NandedOnline.com. Retrieved 2019-08-04.